Planning Ahead / Wanderlust

Planning Ahead / Wanderlust
Cusco, Peru | via

With our upcoming trips to San Diego and Maui fully planned out, and Spain coming along, it’s hard for me to stop thinking about our next adventure. Here’s a few things that have piqued my interest:

  1. Travel + Leisure recently published their annual World’s Best Awards. Charleston clocked in at number one (check out my Charleston city guide here), but I’m itching to visit #15’s Cusco, Peru and #10’s Cape Town, South Africa.
  2. As we get ready for our upcoming trip to Maui, I’ve been consulting goop’s Hawaii Guide for places to eat and see.
  3. I need an upcoming trip with a complicated itinerary so I can use this new tool to book flights using the ITA Matrix. Perhaps a multi-city itinerary in Asia?
  4. I’ve been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat and now I’d like to pay my respects at his grave the next time I’m in New York City.
  5. This description of Vancouver by Bon Traveler has me thinking we need to plan a long weekend there before winter arrives.
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One Week in Southern Spain

One Week in Southern Spain
Madrid | Spain | via

When my work wife brought up the idea of taking a trip after our respective hellish summer schedules, adding, ‘I just want to see some art, eat good food, and drink wine,’ it was easy to say yes. After debating a few possibilities, we decided on one week in southern Spain since we should enjoy moderate temperatures there even at the end of September, and because it’s on the inexpensive side.

One Week in Southern Spain
Seville | Spain | via

We’re still in the early planning stages of our trip, with just a rough itinerary planned and our hotels reserved so far. We’re spending our first two days in Madrid. In between eating tapas, we know we’ll visit the two main museums in Madrid, the Prado and the Reina Sofia, as well as the Royal Palace. After that, we’re taking the AVE train to Andalucia for the rest of our week in southern Spain. We’re spending a day each in Cordoba, Seville, and Granada, before heading to Marbella along the Costa del Sol for two days.

One Week in Southern Spain
Costa del Sol | Spain | via

Usually, I would be against such aggressive city hopping, but between the short, fast (not to mention relaxing!) train rides and a setting a leisurely sightseeing pace in each city, I think it will work out. Plus, the final two days spent at a beach side resort will ensure that we head home totally relaxed.

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48 Hours in the Berkshires

48 Hours in the BerkshiresTwo weekends ago I ventured to western Massachusetts for a girls weekend in the Berkshires. The geographic spread of the Berkshires is actually quite sizable and covering a lot of ground is somewhat impeded by winding roads, some of which may or may not be paved! That being said, we still packed in a lot during our 48 hours in the Berkshires.

 

48 Hours in the Berkshires

Sleep: We chose to stay in the quaint The Porches at Mass MoCA. The hotel is across the street from the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and is made up of a row of Victorian-era row homes that have been converted into the hotel. Our room was generously sized and comfortably fit the three of us, two queen beds, a sitting area, and a spacious bathroom complete with a claw-foot soaking tub. I would highly recommend The Porches given its reasonable (for the area) prices, but would recommend that you request a second floor room (we found the first floor to be noise-y given the in-and-out traffic) and be prepared to drive quite a bit as it’s located in North Adams, which is just about as far north as you can go before you hit New Hampshire.

48 Hours in the Berkshires

48 Hours in the Berkshires

Visit:

  • Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (North Adams): Eclectic mix of art exhibits in a restored former factory.
  • (The town of) Lenox: An enclave of grand Gilded Age homes along with several blocks of well-curated shops.
  • Housatonic River Walk (Great Barrington): A scenic greenway, that we unfortunately had to skip due to rainy weather.
  • The Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge): Honors the life and work of Norman Rockwell and includes his original studio on the grounds.
  • Naumkeag (Stockbridge): A Gilded Age mansion and its manicured gardens.

48 Hours in the Berkshires

48 Hours in the Berkshires

Dine:

  • Haven Cafe & Bakery (Lenox): Popular breakfast & lunch spot – order anything that comes with a side of their garlicky home fries!
  • Prairie Whale (Great Barrington): Generous cocktail and wine selection – don’t miss the fried chicken! (FYI: ‘Prairie whale’ was a pioneer term for ‘pig!’)
  • Once Upon a Table (Stockbridge): Quaint place to share lunch if the wait at Red Lion Inn is too long.

48 Hours in the Berkshires

48 Hours in the Berkshires

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Summer in New York City

Summer in New York City
Manus x Machina | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I’m fresh off my final trip to New York City (for the month of July of least!). I’m a big believer in maximizing my business travel and taking advantage of the sights and eateries of whatever city I’m in. That’s especially easy in a place like New York City, where restaurants are open until the wee hours and museums routinely offer “late” nights. Here’s a couple of highlights from spending summer in New York City.

Summer in New York City
Hydrangeas in Madison Square Park

My office is in Chelsea, making lunches and dinners in Madison Square Park a necessity. I’ve always been a big fan of Shake Shack and given that it hasn’t branched out to the West Coast yet, I often find myself grabbing a meal here any time I’m in NYC. Hot tip: get the chick’n shack and a summer shandy (1/2 beer + 1/2 lemonade).

Summer in New York City
Dior | Manus x Machina | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This past week I had to stay through Saturday so I took advantage of the late hours at the Met on Friday evening. I spent the majority of my visit in the Costume Institute’s Manus x Machina exhibit. The exhibit was juxtaposed handmade and machine-made items, with pieces that were on the runway quite recently to pieces from the late 1800s. I think my favorite piece were from a Dior collection just a couple of years ago that featured beautiful pleated skirts with grosgrain ribbon details – the video that illustrated the process for creating these pieces was mesmerizing!

Summer in New York City
Glittering gowns | Manus x Machina | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I also made it a point to get up early one morning to enjoy wandering around Chelsea and the West Village. Each townhome compliments its neighbor, but also has its own unique character. I love stopping to admire the iron-wrought railings, brass door knockers, and flower boxes.

Summer in New York City
Alexander McQueen | Manus x Machina | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Dior
Dior | Manus x Machina | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Summer in New York City
Balenciaga | Manus x Machina | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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